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I have a D-Link DWA-160 Wireless adapter, and the current driver (carl9170) has some really, really, really frustrating bugs. (Well, just one, but it's a real showstopper.)

Whenever I'm in Puppy Linux, this bug doesn't occur. The difference is, Puppy Linux says it's using ar9170. I'd like to use that for Ubuntu and see if it works better there, as well. I'd like to know the exact procedure for doing this.

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It appears no such kernel module exists in Linux. I am not able to locate any ar9170 kernel module in the 3.5.x sources. Please elaborate more on this kernel module you use in the other Linux distribution, e.g. modinfo ar9170 –  gertvdijk Jan 31 '13 at 1:43
    
D'OH!! modprobe ar9170 returns "FATAL: Module ar9170 not found." I'm using Linux version 3.2.0-36, and Ubuntu version 12.04. –  JamesTheAwesomeDude Jan 31 '13 at 1:52
    
Yeah, that's no new information. I requested modinfo from Puppy Linux, not to modprobe the non-existing module in Ubuntu. –  gertvdijk Jan 31 '13 at 1:54
    
Ooooops. I feel stupid now. :( Here's the paste: pastebin.com/3UMSyaZb EDIT: Also, turns out it's ar9170usb and not ar9170, so the Ubuntu result was probably wrong. –  JamesTheAwesomeDude Jan 31 '13 at 3:00
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2 Answers

The modinfo on the other Linux distribution shows me it's still on Linux 2.6.33. The driver you refer to is removed in recent Linux versions:

commit b0006e69615868f3dfdfe2bd64eb11973f1208fc
Author: Christian Lamparter <chunkeey@googlemail.com>
Date:   Fri Mar 25 20:21:55 2011 +0100

    ar9170usb: purge obsolete driver
git branch -a --contains b0006e69615868
  remotes/origin/HEAD -> origin/master
  remotes/origin/linux-3.0.y
  remotes/origin/linux-3.1.y
  remotes/origin/linux-3.2.y
  remotes/origin/linux-3.3.y
  remotes/origin/linux-3.4.y
  remotes/origin/linux-3.5.y
  remotes/origin/linux-3.6.y
  remotes/origin/linux-3.7.y
  remotes/origin/master

This indicates to me that ar9170usb was removed from 3.0 onwards. I think it will be hard to get this module into a recent Ubuntu release.

So, taking a step back, getting the newer driver fixed seems a bit more constructive. In case you're on Ubuntu 12.04, try the backported Quantal kernel linux-image-generic-lts-quantal package. If that doesn't fix it or if you're on Quantal already, try a more recent "mainline" kernel to see if your issue is fixed "upstream". This answer explains how to install pre-built mainline kernels in Ubuntu.

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Try the suggested workaround in this answer for similar hardware (same chipset). It seems to have fixed it on my system today, also with this DWA-160 adapter. Check it out and see if it helps. I also downloaded the latest firmware file I could find. (version 1.9.7)

I also found major bugs with using the carl9170 driver. If it is anything like mine then it bombed out the internet connection when downloading or even surfing media rich sites.

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Good answer - it's a lot more constructive than going back in time trying to use an older driver. +1 –  gertvdijk Feb 5 '13 at 21:09
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